Tawni is currently attending Virginia Tech as a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education and an M.Ed. student in Integrative STEM Education. Tawni holds a B.S. & B.A. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of San Diego Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and a Secondary Mathematics Teaching Credential from San Diego State University. Her current efforts involve engaging and disseminating research surrounding various facets of providing quality engineering education experiences for PK-12 and undergraduate students. Prior to receiving the Graduate Research Fellowship from The National Science Foundation in Spring 2019 she engaged as a Graduate Research Assistant on the VT PEERS (Virginia Tech Partnering with Educators and Engineers in Rural Schools) project, Student Support Staff at CEED (Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity) and as an instructor of the Foundations of Engineering course for undergraduates at VT.

Tawni is committed to ensuring that all children receive high-quality engineering education in all facets of their life, whether formal or informal, with teachers, peers or parents. Motivated by a desire to broaden participation in engineering activities for younger students, her main interests surround the pedagogical choices and implications within these activities. She recognizes the importance in the teaching strategies utilized by facilitators of student learning, whether that be parents, teachers or peers, in all types of environments, formal or informal.